What is Purple Day?
Purple Day is an international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide. On March 26th annually, people in countries around the world are invited to wear purple and host events in support of epilepsy awareness. Last year, people in more than 85 countries on all continents participated in Purple Day! Canada is the only country in the world who officially recognizes March 26th as Purple Day through the Purple Day Act implemented on June 28, 2012.
Together We Can Help
TREATMENT FOR EPILEPSY
In general, the treatment for epilepsy depends on the type of seizure the patient is having, the origin of the seizure in the brain and any other associated medical illness or condition.
Epilepsy can be broadly classified as: Primary epilepsy or secondary epilepsy. There are certain medications that are used to treat seizures that may worsen certain types of seizures. For instance the drug Tegretol (carbamazepine) is a common drug for the treatment of epilepsy, however in patients that have what is described as primary epilepsy this medication may make it worse. This may be the reason why some patients respond to certain types of medication and others do not. It may also be the reason why patients who are placed on otherwise good anti-seizure medication may experience worsening seizures because the wrong drug has been chosen.
In general, the following treatment are available for the treatment of epilepsy:
- Anti-seizure medications. As discussed this has to be selected by a doctor who is specialized in the treatment of epilepsy. The doctor typically would first determine the type of epilepsy the patient has, the possible side effects, and the appropriate dosage of the medication. To make the best choice for the patient, the doctor may have to perform a CTscan, brain MRI, EEG, or video EEG study.
- Diet: Ketogenic diet which is often designed by a doctor in collaboration with a dietician has been shown to reduce seizure frequencies in certain types of epilepsy. Not all patients who have epilepsy benefit from a ketogenic diet.
- Brain and Nerve stimulators: This involves using specialized stimulators, typically wired and connected to a nerve that comes out from the brain called the Vagus nerve. This stimulator is called the “Vagus nerve stimulator”. This treatment is available in Nigeria and it’s typically implanted by an experienced neurosurgeon who is trained in the implantation of this device. After implanting the device, it will require regular checkups utilizing the special equipment called the Vagus Nerve Stimulator “Wand” to program the stimulator from time to time.
- Surgeries: There are several types of surgeries that can correct epilepsies. Typically when there is a lesion in the brain that is causing the epilepsy or there are parts of the brain that may not have developed appropriately, a neurosurgeon can in collaboration with an epileptic neurologist identify these parts of the brain and perform surgeries to correct these areas of the brain. Such surgeries for Mesial Temporal Sclerosis, Lesionectomy, and Corpus Callosotomy are also available here in Nigeria but are only performed by Neurosurgeons in collaboration with neurologists experienced in the treatment of epilepsy, in an epilepsy center.
Many patients with epilepsy develop psychological problems such as depression. This can be an added co-mobility and therefore it is important that the patient with epilepsy consults from time to time with a psychologist or psychiatrist for counselling. Where needed, these patients can be placed on additional medication to control their depression and ultimately helping their mental health.
It is important to realize that seizures and epilepsy can be treatable. In some instances, depending on the cause of the epilepsy the patient might expect a “total cure” however, in most instances the frequency can be significantly reduced such that the person can live a normal life, be able to have a family, be able to go to school, acquire high education, have a job and live independently.
For more questions contact your doctor or a hospital specialized in the treatment of epilepsy.
Seizure First Aid
Epilepsy is a chronic medical problem in which a person presents with recurrent unprovoked seizures. The estimated prevalence of epilepsy is 8 per 1000 people in Nigeria. Seizures are caused by abnormal firing of nerve cells on one or both sides of the brain. There are two main types of seizures, focal and generalized seizures. Focal seizures start in a particular part of the brain. Symptom vary depending on the part affected.
Symptoms include appearing dazed or confused, rhythmic movements or jerking of one side, repetitively picking at clothes, lip-smacking, wandering around confused. At times, this may progress to a generalized seizure. Generalized seizures involve both sides of the brain. During a generalized seizure, consciousness may be impaired or lost. Their arms and legs may stiffen and jerk rhythmically. Consciousness gradually returns at the end. They may have urinary or fecal incontinence.
Other types of generalized seizures include sudden loss of tone, sudden jerks, sudden whole body stiffening, or starring without memory of the events.
Symptoms of seizures
Fumbling with clothing
Keep Calm & reassure
GTC First Aid
Lay on side, loosen clothing, cushion head
Do not restrain , do not put object in mouth
Clear away furniture
Time the seizure
Keep Calm & reassure
- 65 million people around the world live w/ #epilepsy
- 3.4+ million people in the U.S. live w/ #epilepsy
- 1 in 26 people in the U.S. will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime
- 4 to 10 out of 1,000 people on earth live w/ active #seizures at any one time
- 150,000 new cases of #epilepsy are diagnosed in the U.S. each year
- One-third of people w/ #epilepsy live w/ uncontrollable #seizures because no available treatment works for them
- For 6 out of 10 people w/ #epilepsy the cause is unknown
- Each year, more than 1 in 1,000 people with epilepsy die from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, known as SUDEP.
- 4 out of 10 people w/ #epilepsy in the industrialized world do not receive appropriate treatment
- 8 out of 10 people w/ #epilepsy in developing nations do not receive appropriate treatment
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